Saturday, May 13, 2006

Premature on Rowback

OK, OK - perhaps I declared the rowback a little too soon. But we know it's coming, right? I mean - the signs are already there. The Democrats have a clear track record on this: they get apoplectic about some step the administration has taken to protect national security, they talk impeachment, then they realize that they're out of the mainstream, and they soon stop making a big deal about it. They enter the silent, brooding phase, where they seethe to each other about how things will be different when they're running things (God forbid!).

Anyway, I guess I was premature in declaring a rowback. Seems that the 'impeachthewarmongeringsmirkychimpmchalliburton' crowd is looking forward to some Senate testimony next week which'll blow the lid off the whole NSA thing! It means the death of the administration - you know, like Joe Wilson, Fahrenheit 9/11, the Butler report, war hero John Kerry, that NYT report on missing Iraqi weapons, and the leak on terrorist surveillance all did.

Oh, and speaking of warrantless wartime wiretapping, the testimony that's going to bring down the Bush administration this week is from the same fellow who leaked the existence of that program: Russell Tice.

This is the excerpt from National Journal (ie, according to the poster at the link above; I'm unable to access the original NJ piece):

A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said Thursday he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens. …

[Tice] said he plans to tell the committee staffers the NSA conducted illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of U.S. citizens while he was there with the knowledge of Hayden. … “I think the people I talk to next week are going to be shocked when I tell them what I have to tell them. It’s pretty hard to believe,” Tice said. “I hope that they’ll clean up the abuses and have some oversight into these programs, which doesn’t exist right now.” …

Tice said his information is different from the Terrorist Surveillance Program that Bush acknowledged in December and from news accounts this week that the NSA has been secretly collecting phone call records of millions of Americans. “It’s an angle that you haven’t heard about yet,” he said. … He would not discuss with a reporter the details of his allegations, saying doing so would compromise classified information and put him at risk of going to jail. He said he “will not confirm or deny” if his allegations involve the illegal use of space systems and satellites.

Can we get a betting pool going on when this shifts from 'scandal that will bring down the administration' to 'Karl Rove leak designed to get Democrats to overreach?'

But while I find it amusing that the Democrats pin their hopes on supposed scandals that never materialize, this is of course not funny. Does Tice not think he's done enough damage? Once again, I have to think about the outrage on the Left at the 'outing' of Valerie Plame, and the crocodile tears over such 'intelligence leaks,' while those same folks are delighted at every leak that they think favors them.

We ARE at war. Do they not see this? We have prevented successful attacks in the last few years, but the threat is obviously still out there. They can disagree with the tactics; they can hate the Commander in Chief. But they can't treat this as some sort of game. The fact that they seem to has got to scare you.

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